The Impacts of Land Reclamation on Suspended-sediment Dynamics in Jiaozhou Bay


Title: The Impacts of Land Reclamation on Suspended-sediment Dynamics in Jiaozhou Bay

Journal: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 7:9303, doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2017.01.012

Authors: GAO G. -D.*, X. -H. Wang

Abstract: A three-dimensional, high-resolution tidal model coupled with the UNSW sediment model (UNSW-Sed) based on Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM) was set up to study the suspended-sediment dynamics and its change in Jiaozhou Bay (JZB) due to land reclamation over the period 1935 to 2008. During the past decades, a large amount of tidal flats were lost due to land reclamation. Other than modulating the tides, the tidal flats are a primary source for sediment resuspensions, leading to turbidity maxima nearshore. The tidal dynamics are dominant in controlling the suspended-sediment dynamics in JZB and have experienced significant changes with the loss of tidal flats due to the land reclamation. The sediment model coupled with the tide model was used to investigate the changes in suspended-sediment dynamics due to the land reclamation from 1935 to 2008, including suspended-sediment concentrations (SSC) and the horizontal suspended-sediment fluxes. This model can predict the general patterns of the spatial and temporal variation of SSC. The model was applied to investigate how the net transport of suspended sediments between JZB and its adjacent sea areas changed with land reclamation: in 1935 the net movement of suspended sediments was from JZB to the adjacent sea (erosion for JZB), primarily caused by horizontal advection associated with a horizontal gradient in the SSC; This seaward transport (erosion for JZB) had gradually declined from 1935 to 2008. If land reclamation on a large scale is continued in future, the net transport between JZB and the adjacent sea would turn landward and JZB would switch from erosion to siltation due to the impact of land reclamation on the horizontal advection of suspended sediments. We also evaluate the primary physical mechanisms including advection of suspended sediments, settling lag and tidal asymmetry, which control the suspended-sediment dynamics with the process of land reclamation.